Formula 1 is to become more media-friendly in 2009, the FIA has revealed, after the governing body elected to enforce some of the proposals that emerged from the landmark Formula One Teams' Association (FOTA) meeting in Geneva earlier this month.
Following a reunion of the World Motor Sport Council (WMSC) in Paris today (Tuesday), the FIA has announced that it is to make public the weights of all cars after qualifying for each grand prix, so that a 'fuel-corrected' grid may be calculated. Such a move may also make it possible to discern which teams are using the optional, energy-conserving KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery Systems) technology, which at 35kg could push some cars over the minimum 605kg – including driver – weight stipulation.
What's more, for the clarity of spectators and the media alike, wet tyres have been re-named 'intermediates' and extreme wet-weather tyres are now to be referred to simply as 'wets', whilst a whole raft of new measures will be introduced to bring the sport – which has become increasingly alien in recent years to those whose continued interest and support ensures its very existence – closer to the fans.
'On the first day of practice all drivers must be available for autograph signing in their designated team space in the pit-lane,' read an official FIA statement from the WMSC meeting. 'All drivers eliminated in qualifying must make themselves available for media interviews immediately after the end of each session.
'Any driver retiring before the end of the race must make himself available for media interviews after his return to the paddock. All drivers who finish the race outside the top three must make themselves available immediately after the end of the race for media interviews.
'During the race, every team must make at least one senior spokesperson available for interviews by officially accredited TV crews.'